What Kind of Customer Service Should I Expect From a Car Dealership?

Customer Service 

You should expect to be treated with the same respect at a car dealership that you expect when you dine at your favorite restaurant.  Everyone has a need to feel appreciated.  Whether taking your car in for service or purchasing a new vehicle you should be treated with dignity and respect.   Everyone in the dealership should make you feel at home and someone should greet you, rather than you having to find a service adviser or sales person.  You should feel that the organization went the “extra mile” for you and if any problems arise they should be able to help resolve them in a timely manner.  Everyone who comes in contact with you should smile and be friendly and if you have questions that cannot be answered by one person, they should be able to direct you to someone who can.  Remember that they are still human and will make mistakes, but it is the willingness to help that is customer service.   It is not the product but the attitude of the employees or the way in which they may have been treated (otherwise known as the experience) that people tend to remember.  

Service Adviser greeting customer

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2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8

If you have always been a fan of the Challenger then check out the stylish features of the new 2012!

1964 1/2 Mustang

Ponycar Revolution

In 1961 Lee Iacocca had a vision to create a sports car which would seat 4 people, weigh less than 2500 lbs and be no longer than 180 inches.  This vision would become reality and would become one of the hottest selling cars on the market.  On March 9, 1964 the first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line and was introduced to the world on April 17, 1964 at the New York World’s Fair.  The Mustang sold over 22,000 units and a revolution had begun.

The truth is that there is no 1964 1/2 Mustang, but that term was coined by Mustang enthusiast.  This model was produced for 6 months before refinements were made, the ones produced within the next 6 months are considered to be 1965.  But technically they are all 1965 Mustangs, I will  still call it a 1964 1/2.   Besides knowing the date it was manufactured, how can you tell if it is a 1964 1/2?  It  has to be factory-equipped with a generator charging system, a 170ci six (U-code), a 260 2V (F-code), or a 289 4V (D-code) low-compression, large horns mounted down on the frame behind the radiator, a brake light pressure switch on the master cylinder, a center “off” heater fan switch, and a generator charge light, just to name the basics. These are features exclusive to Mustangs built between early March and July 31, 1964.  There was never a fastback made in those early production units, so if you find a ’65 fastback it is not a ’64 1/2.

The pony interior was added in the ’65 production group featuring  special seat covers with running horses across the back, exclusive interior door panels with integral armrests and pistol-grip door handles, a five-gauge instrument panel, wood-grain steering wheel, and appliques on the instrument cluster, glove-box, and center console (if equipped).

 

The Camaro

First Generation Camaro

The first-generation Camaro debuted in September 1966 (designated as the 1967 Camaro) in response to the hugely successful Ford Mustang (the Mustang had been developed in response to the Corvair.)

 

The executives at Chevrolet realized that the Corvair was not going to compete with the sales of the Mustang partly due to its rear-engine design and Ralph Nader's book, Unsafe at Any Speed, which called the Corvair "The One-Car Accident".


Reports started running in April 1965 in the automotive press, before any official announcements were made, that Chevrolet was preparing a competitor to the Ford Mustang, code-named Panther.  June 21 1966, 200 automotive journalist received a telegram from General Motors stating “…Please save noon of June 28 for important SEPAW meeting. Hope you can be on hand to help scratch a cat. Details will follow…(signed) John L. Cutter – Chevrolet Public Relations – SEPAW Secretary.”  The journalist received a second telegram the following day saying “Society for the Eradication of Panthers from the Automotive World will hold first and last meeting on June 28…(signed) John L. Cutter – Chevrolet Public Relations SEPAW Secretary.”  On June 28 General Motors held a press conference and made history with the first ever real-time press conference containing 14 cities hooked up via telephone lines.  The new Camaro line was then unveiled and when Chevrolet managers were asked what a Camaro was,the replied with  ““a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”   The word Camaro, according to Chevrolet,  was Old French for “friend”.

second generation Camaro

1972 Camaro-second generation Camaro

The Camaro officially went on sale in dealerships on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year.  The first generation Camaro includes the year models 1967, 1968 and 1969.  The look of the 1969 Camaro was changed to a more angular look, the wheel wells were squared off, the dashboard was updated with square gauges and the tachometer was optional.  This was the last of the first generation Camaro and Chevrolet offered a ton of engine choices, everything from straight line six cylinder engine to an incredible 427 cubic inch monster that was part of the special order ZL-1. Most buyers picked the small block V-8.  The Camaro was a built as  a family car with its 2 by 2 seating and is considered to be Chevrolet’s Pony car while the Chevelle SS is considered the muscle car.

Model 0-60 mph Quarter Mile Time Engine Source
1969 Camaro ZL1 5.2 sec 12.8 sec @ 107.0 mph 427ci/425hp MCR 1987
1969 Camaro ZL1 5.3 sec 10.4 sec @ 128.1 mph 427ci/425hp Super Stock Mag 2/69
1969 Camaro Yeko 5.4 sec 11.9 sec @ 114.5 mph 427ci/430hp Yeko
1969 Camaro Z28 7.4 sec 15.1 sec @ 94.8 mph 302ci/290hp Car Life
1969 Camaro Z28 7.4 sec 15.1 sec @ 95.0 mph 302ci/290hp Road & Track 12/91
1969 Camaro SS Pace Car 8.0 sec 16.0 sec @ 88.0 mph 350ci/300hp Motor Trend7/96
1969 Camaro SS n/a 14.8 sec @ 98.7 mph 396ci/375hp Car & Driver 5/70
1969 Camaro Z/28 n/a 14.7 sec @ 95.9 mph 302ci/290hp PopularHot Rod
1969 Camaro SS396 n/a 14.5 sec @ 100.6 mph 396ci/375hp PopularHot Rod
1969 Camaro SS 396 n/a 14.2 sec @ 97.3 mph 396ci/375hp MCR 12/97
1969 Camaro SS n/a 14.2 sec @ 103.8 mph 396ci/375hp MCR Feb/Mar 1996
1969 Camaro ZL-1 n/a 13.2 sec @ 100.2 mph 427ci/425hp Hi PerfCars 8/69
1969 Camaro SS n/a 13.0 sec @ 108.6 mph 396ci/375hp Supercar Annual 1969

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Does Color Influence Car Buying?

Most Popular Car Colors

It seems that since 2000 silver has been the most popular color for car buyers worldwide (I just happen to own a silver car). Henry Ford stipulated that those wanting the Model T could have any color they wanted as long as it was black.  That certainly made things a little easier on him and on the car buyer.  It is thought that he chose black paint because  black paint dried faster and allowed Henry Ford to produce vehicles more quickly.  Black may have also been chosen because it was less expensive and Ford, being a good businessman, was able to pass that on to his customers.  This is of course speculation and I have found no real proof to support this theory.     Before 1913 the Model T could be purchased in Brewster Green,  Red,  Blue and Gray but not in black.  The most popular color in North America for the past 3 years has been white, and black is gaining popularity on a global scale.

Does Car Color Attract Thieves?

Yes!  Car thieves have certain colors of cars that they go after and unfortunately it is the same color buyers go for.  That’s right, you guessed it, silver, white and black cars are more prone to be stolen than other colors.  These colors have the highest resale value and thieves know this.   Bright colors are less likely to sell plus you could more easily spot a bright green Camaro over a silver one.

    

Safest Car Colors

I purchased my silver car because I had a red one that people kept running into.  So I decided that it must be inciting anger and they wanted to kill me.  I went with silver so that people would be certain to see me night or day.

I haven’t found any research to prove certain color cars are safer than others; however the statistics seem to show that lighter color cars are in fewer accidents.  Many people believe that certain colors and makes of vehicles will cause an individual to take more risk while driving.  This may be true as well, but again there is no definitive proof.

In the end everyone chooses a car color for their own reasons.   But this may help you make a decision if you are looking for a car and not sure of what color to choose.  How about hot pink!

Empowered Car Buying

When purchasing a car what is your first step?  Many people do not know what that first step is, or even where to go after the first step.  It is often a stressful time, but it shouldn’t be.  Just a few simple steps should make the process very simple and you will be on your way to less stressful car buying.    

So back to my question, What is your first step? Choosing a car.  This is the fun part right?  Well it should be anyway. There are so many cars out there to choose from and car makers are very innovative.  Things are constantly changing and cars are getting safer.  Once you decide what style of car (i.e. SUV, minivan, small car, sports car, luxury car, pick up truck etc.) then you can start window shopping so to speak as to what specific car you would like.  That takes to the important Second Step, Research. 

Research is so much easier now with the power of the internet.  You are on the internet now so you have already taken that powerful step.  There are an endless number of places to look.  You can find out what the safety rating of the car is, the average gas mileage, the base model price and even what features are available.  What is the “sticker price” of the vehicle?  You can find all this out online.  What exactly is “sticker price”?  it is the price set by the manufacturer and stuck on the sticker in the vehicle before it leave the manufacturer.  Don’t forget when you start adding options to your new purchase that you pay for these,  so you need to decide what is absolutely necessary for you to have on your new car.  Are there features you can not live without.  One of my sisters thought  she couldn’t  live without a sunroof until she had children.  Then her priorities changed, now she can’t live without a 3rd row seat.   Only you can know what features you absolutely must have.  Make a list of these things before you go to the dealership and your buying experience will be more pleasant.

Step 3, How am I going to pay for this?  You have chosen the car, you have done the research and know exactly what you want, now how are you going to finance it?  There are a lot of options when it comes to paying for your new vehicle.  You can pay cash of course if you just happen to have that kind of cash lying around.  Most people go with the financing option.  I financed for 5 years to make my payments manageable for me.  There is nothing wrong with going ahead and getting financing before you come to the dealership.   Many people have a credit union they can finance through, or their bank.  My bank offered me a great rate because I use them for everything including my previous car loan.  If none of these options are available to you then you may be able to finance once you get to the dealership.  Don’t forget that dealerships have relationships with banks and can often get you financed when you did not know what to do.  Many dealerships have their own finance companies as well.  If you don’t get your own financing before you get to the dealership then financing may become your last step.

Now you are ready to go out and locate that chosen vehicle, which is step 4.   You already know exactly what it is you want, your list is made of options you must have, you know the style and color, you have the financing , so you have to find the dealership.  Internet shopping is invaluable.  You can locate the car you want and even schedule an appointment to see a salesperson by shopping online.  Nothing beats actually going in and looking at the vehicle, test driving and making sure it is the right color and feel.  But you have all the tools you need so that you can tell your salesperson what you want before you get there and they can do the search and find it for you rather than you walking the lot.  Now if you are the type of person who prefers to walk onto the lot and locate the vehicle for yourself that is perfectly acceptable as well.  You still have your list of options to tell the salesperson.  If it turns out that the vehicle you chose is not exactly what you wanted after all you may just find something better suited for you.  Your salesperson can help you with that search if this is the case.

Now you are armed with 4 basic steps you need to find the car you want.  Happy Shopping!!